Thursday, February 27, 2020

How-To Guide: Affordable Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Purchasing a new vehicle is a big commitment. While many people expect to pay a lot for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV’s), there are a number of reliable and affordable options that may be available to you. We provide a lot of useful information in this article, so feel free to jump to any section that is most useful to you.
Why Should You Own Your Own WAV?
  1. They reduce your chances of getting injured. To get a wheelchair in and out of your vehicle, you would have to lift it multiple times a day. Heavy lifting can be very dangerous because you are at risk of injuring important parts of your body, like your back and your neck.
  2. With a wheelchair accessible vehicle, it’ll be much easier to get around on your own. As a result, you’ll be much more independent. Better access to your community will let you have much more fun, and will allow you to spend more time with friends and family.

The Basics
Wheelchair accessible vehicles don’t have to be intimidating! To help you along the way, let’s go over some important details:
  • “Chassis” is a word that we use to describe the vehicle, itself. It’s important to note that vehicle chassis are taxed by the state.
  • If you hear us use the term “conversion,” we are referring to any modifications that have been made to the vehicle. If your doctor provides a Letter of Medical Necessity, your conversion will not be taxed by the state, and will officially be considered a piece of “medical equipment.”
  • There are two types of ramp conversions: side entry and rear entry. How do you figure out which kind is best for you?
Let’s Talk Money
While there are grants to help you out, 95% of them will only pay for your vehicle’s conversion. What does that mean for you? While these grants pay for the part of your vehicle that has been modified, they don’t cover the cost of the vehicle, itself. This is actually great news, because it means that you may be able to buy a WAV for just the price of the vehicle! In fact, you might be able to purchase your WAV for half of its normal price. From finding the right vehicle, to determining the best configuration, to helping with your funding needs, our team of WAV experts can help you through the entire process!
Here are some affordable options:  
  • Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles
    • Purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle is a smart way to get more for your money. This point remains true for all vehicles, including those that are wheelchair accessible! Our on-site inventory is huge, featuring a large number of pre-owned accessible vehicles. Most of our pre-owned WAVs have low mileage and are priced to sell. This means that our prices include the cost of each vehicle’s conversion, allowing us to be up-front and save you time.
  • Trade-ins
    • We take all types of trades, including vehicles that are not wheelchair accessible. Your trade-in value is calculated into the bottom-line price, which decreases your payments and taxes.
  • Finance Options
    • Our accessible vehicle specialists will find you the best interest rates, terms, finance options, and lease options. We’ll give you all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision, and support you through the entire process.
  • New Vehicle Funding
    • If you’re a Med Waiver recipient, you might qualify for a van conversion through the Med Waiver Program. This resource can cut the cost of a rear-entry minivan by up to 50%! As a Braunability dealer, we can provide information about a variety of grants and funding opportunities that are available to you. Click here to learn more.
Nationwide Funding
When it comes to funding for mobility equipment, some national foundations offer a wide range of financial assistance. Click here to learn more about them.
Regardless of your disability or location, these programs help a wide range of people. Some programs may cover the total cost of your mobility equipment, while others offer smaller grants. Either way, both options are great resources for you.
State Funding
While grants and funding programs are a great resource, it’s important to remember that they vary by state. Additionally, each one usually caters to individuals who have specific disabilities. Some states have a form of government assistance, called Vocational Rehabilitation. These services help people with disabilities find and maintain jobs. They are a very important resource, because they will help pay for mobility equipment that you need to work, and will make sure that everything at your job is accessible for you. Other states have additional programs related to financial assistance. These resources cover the cost of mobility equipment for individuals who have been injured, as the result of a vehicle accident. Click here to find out what your state offers.
Veteran Programs
If you are a veteran with a disability, there are a number of resources that can offer financial assistance for purchasing a WAV. For additional information, please contact your local Veterans Administration (VA), or work with your local dealer to receive your benefits. Click here to learn more about these programs, which are available to our disabled veterans.
Funding For Nonprofits
It can be a challenge for nonprofit organizations to transport people with disabilities. If your nonprofit needs wheelchair accessible transportation for either children or adults, there are a few organizations that provide financial support. Click here to learn more about the resources available to nonprofits.
Even though it’s non-traditional, crowdfunding allows the community to show support for the needs of people with disabilities. This approach has helped a number of wheelchair users raise the necessary funds to purchase their WAVs. Click here to learn more about crowdfunding campaigns.
Automotive Discounts
When purchasing a WAV, most automotive manufacturers offer rebates or incentives. While these discounts will help with the cost of your vehicle, they may also reduce the cost of important equipment, including hand controls, transfer seats, wheelchair securement systems, and more. Click here to learn more about discounts for wheelchair accessible vehicles.
For now, that’s all the information we can report on! If new resources become available, we will be sure to keep you updated. Hopefully, this article helped to settle some of your nerves, and showed you that it’s definitely possible to own your own wheelchair accessible vehicle. There are a number of financial resources available to you, designed to assist with the purchase of the WAV that’s perfect for you. Whether you need a wheelchair or wheelchair accessible vehicle, our team is dedicated to helping you find the best mobility solution. You can count on us to help you maximize your potential, which means living a happy, healthy, and independent life.
Mary Carol Peterson

Scott Yarosz

Edited by:
Kyle Romano

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